Evaluating Borisa Simanic in Two Adriatic League Basketball Games

May 31, 2017

By Alan Lu

About over a month ago, I had watched Crvena Zvezda’s 6-10 Serbian big man Borisa Simanic play in the 2017 Nike Hoops Summit.  He did not particularly have a great game there, but he is a candidate to be selected for the upcoming draft, and he may have a chance to be selected by an NBA team due to his ability to stretch the floor and block shots.

I wanted to check out more footage of him playing in basketball games, but there were quite some challenges to this.  Simanic has not played often where he received extended minutes, as his team has tended to only play him in mop-up duty at the tail end of games.  I decided to watch a couple of games that he played in this season anyways, nonetheless.  With thanks to YouTube via ABA liga j.t.d., I was able to see him play in an October 3rd game against Cedevita, as well as in an October 9th match versus Mega Leks.  Here is how he fared in those games, as well as his game may translate to the NBA level.

Boris Simanic is a stretch big that will take many threes from beyond the arc.  He will look to spot up quite often, and he has the mobility to get open on pick and pop plays.  He can knock down the occasional three, but he can be too inconsistent with his jump shot, despite having the size and range to be an effective outside shooter from beyond the arc.

He also may possess fairly good inside scoring skills.  He may not look to score often when he is in the paint, but Simanic may show a solid ability to do so when he is in that range.  Simanic may be a crafty scorer off the dribble, as on one play, he popped off of a screen to get the ball, and he then drove to the hoop to score on a nifty floater over defenders.  Plus, he also is active at crashing the glass, as he managed to score off of a put back after a teammate threw up an air-ball late in a game against Mega Leks.

Simanic may have fairly average playmaking skills for a big man.  He was not on the floor often, so he did not really look to pass the basketball.  But he will set many screens for his team, as he will usually pop off of them, as he can get opportunities to take three-point shots afterwards.  But he was called for a moving screen once, though it may have questionable if he had actually done so, as the defender appeared to have flopped due to the exaggeration of the contact and flail that ensued.  He may also be a fairly average rebounder.  Simanic can get rebounds in his area, and he excels at scoring off of put backs when opponents do not put a body on him.  However, he may struggle to collect boards in traffic, as he may struggle to get to balls that may be more out of his reach.

Also, he may possess decent defensive skills.  For the positives, Simanic can contest shots when he is in the paint.  He will run back on defense to try to prevent fast break scores, and he showed decent mobility when making rotations.  Also, he will use his length and timing to alter shots, as he may possess the threat of being able to block shots around the basket.  However, Simanic sometimes may not always show great footwork and he also can take bad gambles at times.  On one play, he missed on a steal attempt despite being able to get back on defense, which led his team to allow a fast break dunk off of a drive.  Another time, he got beat when defending the post, as he then ended up committing a foul as a result.

Right now, Simanic may be a borderline second round candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft.  He has some interesting skills, but he just does not get enough playing time when he is on the floor.  Perhaps it could benefit him to join a team where he could get consistent playing time, as that may allow him to develop his overall game more quickly.  But if he stays in this draft, he could perhaps go late as a draft and stash pick this year.

There were other notable prospects that were both on his team, as well as on the other teams, but I decided to purely focus my efforts into breaking down Simanic’s game for the purpose of this article.  On a side note, Mega Leks may have been referred to as Mega Vizura in previous articles on this site, because they are also known as that.  Anyways, this article on Borisa Simanic has come to a close, and thank you for reading.